Tuesday 20 March 2018

O'Brien filly Somehow claims Gowran feature for Heffernan

Heffernan: “She was placed in a Classic, so it’s no surprise that she has won.
Heffernan: “She was placed in a Classic, so it’s no surprise that she has won." Picture credit: Cody Glenn / Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Somehow's class won the day as last season's Epsom Oaks fourth overcame trouble in running to take the Listed honours in the Victor McCalmont Memorial Stakes at Gowran Park yesterday.

Victory looked improbable halfway down the straight, with Somehow having nowhere to go, but Seamie Heffernan managed to find a way through.

Once the Aidan O'Brien-trained 6/4 favourite saw daylight, she produced a neat turn of foot to win by a length and a quarter from Sea Swift, with Laganore a head back in third place.

Heffernan said: "She was placed in a Classic, so it's no surprise that she has won. That will bring her on again."

The O'Brien team were denied a double when Taj Mahal was touched off by Red Label (4/1) in the Gowran Park Festival Of Speed Race over nine furlongs.

Having his first run since moving to Jessica Harrington's in-form stable from Luca Cumani in Newmarket, Red Label handled the rain-softened ground well enough win by a neck in a tight finish.

"I'm delighted with him. I was worried about the ground," said Harrington, fresh from a successful week at Punchestown. "I've only had him a month, and I'm just learning about him.

"He is a nice horse and we will see where we go from here. I have nothing in mind for him. He has only had two runs and he was moving up in class."

John Oxx's Naughty Or Nice sprang a 20/1 shock after asserting under Declan McDonogh in the final half a furlong to make a winning debut in the fillies maiden.

"She will improve from the run and hopefully we might give her a go in a Listed race," said Oxx. "There is one at Naas at the end of June that sticks out in my mind."

Elusive Beauty (11/2) came with a late run in the hands of Shane Foley to claim the seven-fulong handicap for fillies.

Held up in the early stages, Ken Condon's charge weaved her way through the field down the straight and ran on strongly inside the final furlong to prevail by three-parts of a length from Midnitemudcrabs.

The Willie McCreery-trained Bumbasina (5/1) stepped up on her sole run as a two-year-old to open her account with a cosy success under Billy Lee in the opening maiden over a mile.

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